Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ParenThots Review of Fun for Kids in Malaysia

Must-have book on activities for kids
27 September 2010
The Star

An essential guide to fun-tastic activities for children
By Lydia Teh
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Author Lydia Teh has really put in a lot of research for this book. It is the guide book for all families.

Often parents are left at a loss as to what to do during the school holidays and how to entertain their kids on the weekend.

The number of places we visit seem to be few and the number of activities we are familiar with are even fewer. You could probably count all of them on one hand. And, often, the kids end up going nowhere and doing nothing or we just keep taking them back to the shopping malls.

Take heart, you need not bring up a mall rat.

That's where this book comes in. It offers stuff to do in all states and that includes Sabah and Sarawak. There's even what to do in Labuan!

The list covers information like how to get there and getting around each state. Included in the list of activities are museums, libraries, nature attractions, adventure activities, sports, performing arts, arts & crafts, festivals and shopping.

You will be pleasantly surprised to find out the kinds of stuff you could do in your state. For example, I didn't know that you could roll down a hill in a giant plastic ball at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa or fly a plane at Subang Skypark.

The author has included info like what the activity/event is, where it can be found, what time the place is open, contact details and how to get there.

Apparently, there are a lot of activities in Malaysia that we may not even be aware of.

I liked that the author included things like where to adopt animals and societies/associations for children with special needs.

In addition to the state by state breakdown and the special needs information, there are also details on festivals that might be celebrated by all states – Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Chap Goh Meh, Hungry Ghost, Mooncake, Wesak and Thaipusam.

Then there are the school holiday programmes offered by Club Med, Cambridge English for Life, Children's Technology Workshop, Polgar Chess and Xtreem Adventure.

If your child is into uniformed activities, you might be interested in the contact details for Girl Guides, Cadet Corps, Polis Kadet, Red Crescent Society, Scouts and St John Ambulance.

To top all of that, the author has included right at the back of the book, hiking guidelines and safety at waterfalls tips.

In all, this is a great guide and every family should have one. You will be amazed at what you can do in Malaysia and you probably don't know about any of the libraries near you.

Highly recommended.

* Want to win a FREE copy of the book? Go to the contest page to find out how you can win one.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Fun at Bookfest

Conducted a talk on Getting Kids to Read and Play at the annual Bookfest in KLCC. The talk was on Sunday, 5 September 2010. Turnout could've been better. I think the timing wasn't good but that was the only spot available for me on that day. Six o'clock is the time people are getting ready to makan.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

1childrenbooks.com Review of Fun for Kids in Malaysia


This handbook is for parents who have to plan their children’s activities. It is divided into the states of Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur and Selangor combined as one. In each state, the fun activities and places to visit are further categorised generally into the following, with some categories being omitted in smaller states:

* Fast facts – state’s tourism office.
* Getting there – how to go there by plane, car, bus and train.
* Getting around – information on buses and taxis in the main towns.
* Back to nature – forest reserves, parks, islands, beaches, waterfalls, animal farms.
* Adventure (name of state)! – caving, fishing, flying fox, paragliding, paint ball, rock climbing, white water rafting, etc
* Sports – archery, badminton, bowling, cycling, fencing, football, etc
* The performing arts – dance, drama, music
* Arts, craft and cooking – includes art galleries as well
* Where to go – places of interest that do not fall into the ‘Back to nature’ section, such as mosques, temples, museums, tourist spot like Chinatown, etc
* Festivals – major festivals unique to each state
* Shopping – shopping malls
* Reading – list of bookstores and public libraries

Detailed information are provided, which usually includes address, telephone number, email address, website address, opening and closing times, entrance fee, and price guide for activities. For major tourists’ attraction, road directions are given.

Our review

If you are always cracking your head as to how to keep your children occupied during the weekends or more crucially, during the school holidays, then this is a must-have.

Not only does it give you a rather comprehensive list of activities for kids, but should you decide to go on a holiday, it also includes the places of interest in each state.

The list for Kuala Lumpur/Selangor is the most complete. In here, you would be exposed to activities you might not have think of. Hence, you could use the key words here to find out more in the Internet.

They are all ‘under one roof’, unlike what you will see in the Internet. Searching for information in the Internet is not as easy as you would like it to be. Say, if you search for ‘archery’, you may get one or two archery centres on the first page of the result, another one on the 5th page and a few more buried in later pages that you would have no desire to venture to.

The author has injected several personal observations in the description of places. This gives you useful insights. For example, on page 29 she wrote, “...the roads in Penang can be quite narrow and the one-way streets can lead you round in circles.” Then, on page 257, “Your children will beg you to come to this mall for its proliferation PC games, CDs, DVDs, PlayStation and software programmes which are mostly pirated.”

However, it would be nice if it has an ‘Index’ section – say if you are interested in white water rafting, you would probably like to know where it is available. So, an ‘Index’ would help a lot, compared to having to browse through each state to look for it.

The ‘Where to go’ section could be placed together with ‘Back to nature’. After all, they are all ‘places to go’. Splitting them gives you a sense of ‘why-are-we-back-to-tourists-spots-again’. Apart from that, a few states like Negeri Sembilan and Pahang, lack information on weekend activities (sports, arts, crafts and cooking).

Although this is not an exhaustive list of fun f or kids, nevertheless it has something for everyone.

The author’s website is www.lydiateh.com. To order this title, please visit MPH Bookstore (online or otherwise).

Source : 1childrenbooks.com